There are a million and a half apps out there (actually, there are probably more than that by now), and by the time you’re done reading this sentence, at least one or two more will have been launched.
Still – not every app’s a winner. Even if it’s free, we’re probably not going to download an app that blows out our birthday candles for us or regenerates your hair by pumping special frequencies into your follicles (seriously?). C’mon, people.
While there are many well-known apps that are truly great, there are a number of genuinely-cool apps that somehow manage to slip under the radar, apps that you’d probably download right this second if you only knew about them. But never fear! Here’s a list of 10 amazing apps you’ve never heard about.
1. Meal Snap
Picture this: you’ve been working hard as nails to stick to your diet and keep those calories low. Suddenly, one of your friends orders the most delicious-smelling entrees you’ve ever had the pleasure to smell on this side of heaven. “No, I can’t have a little bite!” You tell yourself furiously.
Good Housekeeping released this nifty app not too long ago to solve this dilemma: for $2.99, Meal Snap lets you take a picture of a plate of food, and you get an actually-pretty-accurate calorie count of the food. Never again will you have to think twice about that sweet aroma coming from behind the kitchen.
Forget Instagram – Postagram’s got your back. With this groundbreaking picture app, you can use the pictures you’ve taken from your phone (from Instagram, Facebook, your personal camera shots, etc), and turn them into actual postcards that you can send just about anywhere with a mailbox.
The whole process takes only seconds – take a picture, upload it to Postagram, write one of those hilarious, heartfelt messages you’re known for, and mail it to the address of your choice. Brilliant.
3. 8 MM Vintage Camera
Don’t have a genuine 1940′s vintage camera as a family heirloom? That’s crazy! Everyone has one of those.
Just kidding. Unless you’ve got several hundred dollars laying around, you really can’t afford a camera that gives you a genuine old-timey photo anymore. Don’t worry though, because for $1.99, you can download the 8 MM Vintage Camera app that turns your phone into a legitimate old school camera from way back in the day!
You can change the lens, the sound effects, and you can definitely match your grandmother’s photo when she was 20 and see just how similar you two look.
This app won “App of the Year” by Men’s Journal, but it’s for the ladies as well. This free app is about the coolest approach to fitness I’ve ever seen – Fitocracy allows you to input that monster workout you just hammered out at the gym into the app, and you reach new levels/accomplish new challenges/show the world your muscles accordingly.
Love video games and RPG’s? Fitocracy havs challenges, levels, and rewards for every time you enter your workout. Compare with friends with who’s the buffest-I mean, who has the highest level!
5. Urban Spoon
Sadly, this little-known app could have been the savior to countless nights arguing with friends about where to eat. Instead of talking in circles about where to eat that night (let’s face it, you guys probably just cycle through 3-4 locations every time), let Urban Spoon choose for you!
This free app lets you input what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, how much you want to spend, and what areas you’re thinking about, and tells you exactly what options you guys can finally try out. Ditch the fast food burgers and try some delectable french pastries or some exotic Mediterranean plates.
Possibly one of the most ingenious apps ever invented, ToiletFinder informs you where the nearest public bathrooms are to your location. Need I say more?
7. Barcode Scanner
Have you ever been in the middle of your shopping groove, only to find that the item you really need doesn’t have a trace of a price on it? One of the most annoying scenarios that happens in stores, especially when there’s no one nearby to ask (and there’s never anyone nearby to ask).
Fortunately, Barcode Scanner gives the power of the price checker into your own hands. This free app lets you scan the barcode of any item, informing you of the price as well as tells you reviews for that product. Neat!
8. Find my iPhone
It’s surprising how many iPhones don’t have an app that tells them where their phone is. Whether you accidentally leave in the seat cushions at dinner or someone maliciously steals it from right under your nose, Find My iPhone is a must-have app for any iPhone user (you’ll obviously need to use this app from something else other than your phone!)
If you’ve ever typed in “cheapest flights” in Google, you know about the flood of airline companies all vying to get you to click them instead of the other guys. By the time you find the cheapest flight, your trip already passed and it’s time for work again!
Skyscanner cuts through all the online bartering and lets you know the lowest advertised prices for an airplane ticket. Just punch in the names of two airports, and Skyscanner scans the sky (maybe not literally) and lets you know how to have the most inexpensive trip ever.
10. Find My Friends
More like “Real Time Stalking,” Find My Friends lets you locate other buddies with iPhones and see where they are and what they’re up to. Don’t know when your spouse is coming home for dinner? Want to see how far away your friends are to dinner? Find My Friends is a nifty (albeit potentially eyebrow-raising) app for 2013.
About the Author
James is the Development Community Manager at Injekt, an open platform for third party app developers. An avid designer and coder since he was 12, James writes and curates topics on both basic web development and advanced languages with a particular focus on mobile. Connect with James on Twitter and Google+.